6 Astonishing Use Cases for Blockchain in 2019
The effect of Blockchain over the past few years has been colossal. While for many the term Blockchain is synonymous with BitCoin and cryptocurrencies, the truth is that cryptocurrencies are only the tip of Blockchain’s massive iceberg.
If we were to scratch at the surface, we’d find that Blockchain has inspired some of the latest high-tech innovations, from the financial sector to the legal aspect and everything in between! Here are our top 6 astonishing use cases for Blockchain in 2019!
1. A shrewd way to handle Supply chain management
All goods that we buy and use, from the food you eat to the phone you’re using to read this, have gone through a supply chain. The raw material undergoes a process in which it is shipped, moulded, forged, formatted until it becomes the final product. While we take the quality of the final product very seriously, regulating the entire supply chain has proven to be very costly and difficult.
This lack of transparency in a product’s supply chain is exactly where blockchain technology comes in. By digitizing assets, Blockchain allows for products to be tagged and assigned unique identities. These would be part of the immutable and transparent blockchain and as a product goes through the supply chain, key production information (such as the state of the product, shelf life and location) can be inputted and verified. The product itself can also be accurately tracked across the different locations and stages it undergoes. Consumers would also be able to verify the authenticity of their product resulting in a more transparent service!
This end-to-end traceability that Blockchain makes possible has already begun making waves, such as in the food industry with Australia’s National Transport Insurance testing its beef exports using Blockchain. The U.S Dairy company “Dairy Farmers of America” have also been working together with ripe.io to introduce something similar to dairy products.
By increasing the accountability for all middlemen involved in the supply chain, Blockchain allows for a shrewd way to handle supply chain management!
2. Defending Digital Identity
The constant threats of hackers, data breaches and identity thefts have made many understandably paranoid when it comes to digital identity. Currently, we give our data to numerous applications and service providers, and while the E.U has introduced the GDPR to help protect our data and digital identity, Blockchain offers a more eloquent solution – one that can work in tandem with the EU’s GDPR.
Blockchain allows users to have complete control over their information and, because a user’s data is encrypted, store it safely on the blockchain. This opens up a whole host of new possibilities as Civic’s Secure Identity Platform is discovering. Their platform provides users with a multifactor authentication system, which allows online users to perform online transactions securely and efficiently.
The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) is testing the uPort identity solution to ensure accountability in railroad maintenance. Blockchain allows the SBB to verify the identity and credentials of their vast network of workers in a tamper-proof ledger resulting in safer railways all across Switzerland. MONI is also helping to drastically improve the lives of refugees by providing a Blockchain-powered ID solution!
3. Voting Opportunities
In several countries, voter turn-out remains abysmally low. This occurs for a number of reasons, but for most people having to present at the voting booth is enough to discourage them from voting. In this modern-day and age, many people are calling for the option to vote online.
Unfortunately, online voting presents its own share of hazards, such as voter fraud and security risks. Given that the blockchain is immutable and secure, it makes it the perfect vehicle to facilitate online voting, by presenting a clear record of the votes that have been cast (which ensures that people do not vote more than once).
In West Virginia, this has already started as nearly 150 West Virginians voted through a blockchain-app. The Japanese city of Tsukuba has also completed the test for a blockchain-based voting system for local development programs.
4. High-tech Healthcare solutions
As it currently stands Medical Professionals face two major issues; not having a complete understanding of a patient’s medical history and counterfeit medicines. We have already seen how the latter issue can be tackled through blockchain-powered supply chain management earlier.
Unless a patient has spent their whole life visiting the same doctor in the same clinic, then their medical records are a patchwork, spread across various clinics. Besides not having a singular, objective format for medical records, being granted access to this data is also an issue. However, similarly to how digital data can be stored on the blockchain, a patient’s medical records can also be stored on the blockchain. This makes it easier for doctors to access a patient’s medical history, helping to provide the best type of care and as quickly as possible.
A Medical University Hospital in Taiwan has already launched a blockchain-powered platform for medical records. While Medicalchain and BlackBerry are both working on their respective blockchain solutions for patient data.
5. Revolutionary Real Estate
Real estate is bogged down by its archaic system of property registration, which relies heavily on paper documents. This not only makes it susceptible to tampering or fraud, but it is also highly ineffective and eco-unfriendly.
Blockchain technology offers a solution which addresses all of these concerns. Besides its tamper-resistant and transparent features, Blockchain can help ensure proof-of-existence. This means that a document’s authenticity, and whether it has been altered or not, can be verified through the blockchain. Not only that, but Smart Contracts can also help to improve and optimise our current system of renting. All while reducing our carbon footprint!
Numerous countries, including China, India and Sweden have expressed an interest in this technology. While the government of New South Wales in Australia is planning to trial a blockchain solution for the land registry and Africa’s first multinational land registry is to be launched in Kenya and Ghana soon.
6. Energizing the Energy Market
Energy is currently controlled by large corporations and the only way to buy electricity is at a fixed and regulated price. However, Blockchain promises to decentralise the way we consume electricity.
By recording people’s utility usage in a ledger, the data can allow for people to treat energy like any other commodity. This would result in the energy market functioning like most other markets, subject to supply and demand. Instead of buying energy at fixed prices as is currently the norm, blockchain allows for the intelligent metering of electricity which can reduce costs for both consumers and producers significantly.
Currently, Power Ledger is making use of blockchain to track energy usage and to help users trade energy without relying on a centralized grid. The Korean government is also working on its own blockchain-based power supply system.
While BitCoin may or may not become our global currency and cryptocurrency markets may continue to fluctuate – but Blockchain’s legacy isn’t limited to virtual financial assets. We have already begun to tap into the true power of blockchain as these 6 use cases show. By improving our health care, guaranteeing the authenticity of our food and even providing us with a more accessible voting system Blockchain has already begun changing our lives. As more time passes we will see blockchain slowly integrate into the way we eat, work and live resulting in faster and better systems all round – for everyone!